From: SEFAN [admin_at_sefan_dot_org_dot_uk]

Sent: 08 September 2010 12:55

Subject: SEFAN 2010-09-08_02 EVENT Waltzers & Wonders: the Wakes is in Town. TENTERDEN FOLK FESTIVAL.


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From: "Alan Castle" <folkspots_at_btinternet_dot_com>

Date: 7 September 2010 14:37:37 BDT

Subject: Waltzers & Wonders: the Wakes is in Town 


Waltzers & Wonders: the Wakes is in Town


The Ram Company


The Sinden Theatre


Thursday 30th September 2010 from 8.00 p.m.


Waltzers & Wonders: the Wakes is in Town is a stage show incorporating a suite of songs to celebrate the English experience of the Fairground over half a century, composed by Ian Carter with some additional material by Sarah Matthews and John Tams.


In the early 1980’s, Chesterfield born Ian Carter wrote a musical show, “The Wakes is in Town” for Muckram Wakes, the internationally acclaimed acoustic folk band he was in with John Adams and Keith Kendrick.  The show was inspired by a song “The Pulling Down Song”, written by John Tams, former Albion Band and Home Service member, actor and Musical Director at the National Theatre and famously Hagman the Rifleman in the highly popular TV drama series: “Sharp’s Rifles”.  John himself worked with a travelling fairground as a teenager and was a founder member of the original Muckram Wakes in 1970 for whom he wrote the song inspired by his own experiences.  Sadly before the show had reached the touring stage, Muckram’s disbanded and Ian’s songs were shelved and tragically left to gather dust.


Nearly 30 years later Ian’s timely return to our shores (after several years of globe-trotting in pursuit of a sensible living) coincided with an initiative by Keith to put together a large project band to produce stage shows highlighting traditional and new songs of England but with an emphasis on his home county of Derbyshire and the Midlands in general.  Keith invited Ian, along with Alan Squires (another old colleague), Sylvia Needham, Howard Mitchell and the four members of popular Derbyshire band Cross o’ th’ Hands (John Adams, Michelle Short, Sarah Matthews and Doug Eunson) to complete the ensemble.


It wasn’t long before the light dawned and they realised that Ian’s Fair Ground Suite would be a perfect first project so the cobwebs were quickly blown away and after more than a year of immensely hard work and preparation by all concerned, the resulting show staged its World Premiere performance at The Derby Assembly Rooms as part of The Derby Folk Music and Arts Festival one afternoon in October 2008.  Since then the show has been successfully presented at several of England’s major folk festival and is now being brought to Tenterden’s Sinden Theatre.


For more details of the band and the show visit their website at



On the door: Thursday evening £17.50

In advance: £16.50 or £15.00 if bought from Tenterden Folk Festival at same time as a Weekend Ticket.  Under 16s and State Pensioners: £15.00  T: 01233 626805

Also available Ashford TIC, Tenterden Gateway and The Sinden Theatre T: 01580 763826 W:

Also available on line at:





“What a joyful sound that is and lovely accordion playing from Doug Eunson ........the Ram Company from the Derby area – a new outfit comprising the best of the region’s players!”

Verity Sharp, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3


“The piece went down really well with the audience, and it is quite clear that this unique show would be ideal for other festivals.”


Pam Bishop and Graham Langley Folk Monthly


“Unmissable .... Roll up!”

John Tams



There is no doubt about it, this is a CD of a show and as a keepsake of the show it is marvellous.

You are drawn into the world of Waltzes and Wonders and encouraged to share insights into the life of the fairground. The songs have a comfortable familiarity about them that is the essence of a song and music based show. The 'overture', 'Mr Gavioli', written by Ian Carter, has all the full sounds of the old fairground organ and sets the scene in wonderful style.

The Ram Company features nine accomplished musicians and singers: Ian Carter (composer of the majority of the tracks) on keyboard, Keith Kendrick on Anglo and English Concertinas, Sylvia Needham on duet concertina, Sarah Matthews - violin and viola, Doug Eunson - melodeon and hurdy gurdy, Michelle Short - percussion and drums, John Adams - guitar and mandolin, Alan Squires - brass, mandolin and mandola, and Howard Mitchell - double bass and free reeds. All of them contribute to the high-quality vocals with their specific vocal strengths being well utilised.

The quality of the recording and production is excellent and well packaged, with plenty of information about the background to the project...

This is the CD of a 'show', which I can't wait to see, I sincerely hope we hear more from the Ram Company - they have a huge amount of talent to offer.

English Dance and Song





Alan Castle


Folk Spots



Tenterden Folk Festival





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Penny Allen  -    General Manager

Anthony John Allen - Chair of the Board




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